Dollars & Sense
Big Fish Grill makes its way to Ocean View with new location
One fish, two fish, red fish, new Fish.
Fans of the Big Fish Restaurant Group may already be keen on the group’s well-established area staples, including the classic American cuisine of the Summer House Saloon on Rehoboth Avenue and farm-to-table concept of Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach; the three Big Fish Grill locations in Rehoboth Beach, Wilmington and Glen Mills, Pa.; and the Crab House, Bella Coast Italian Kitchen, Big Fish Seafood Market; and the list going on.
But despite 10 unique operations, and nine of them in the First State, a Big Fish endeavor from restauranteurs and brothers Eric and Norman Sugrue had yet to make its way down to the southernmost Delaware beaches until this past winter.
In 1972, after graduating from college and moving to Sussex County, Bill Lord was not planning to open a landscaping business.
“When I first moved here, I was a teacher. I was just not destined to be a teacher. My wife Donna was. Her teaching job gave me the flexibility to try to do something I really wanted to do.”
Lord left education and answered a want-ad in the paper, and worked for a landscaper in Lewes for two years. He then decided to go out on his own and, with the help of his wife’s grandfather, Amos McCabe, was able to use for his budding business some of the property in Millville that once housed Delaware Quality Feeds.
“Amos let me use a little corner office there and a little patch of ground to store some stuff,” recalled Lord. “I’d watch out after him, do some jobs for him. He never had a son… He loved me right from the get-go. He took me hunting. I had never been hunting before, you know. I’m from Philadelphia.”
After 10 years in its Millville location, the staff at Aquacare Physical Therapy continues to expand its “menu” of services.
“We offer both ‘surf’ and ‘turf,’” said physical therapist Lauren Nuttle — referring to the pool-based aquatherapy available at Aquacare, as well as the “land-based” therapies offered there, too.
While the aquatherapy is obvious from the name, Nuttle said, the office offers more traditional physical therapy techniques, as well as some new ones that have just come into use in the past several years.
Nuttle said she loves the breadth of services offered at Aquacare because “I don’t have to tell someone, ‘Oh, we don’t have that here,’ or ‘We can’t do that here.’” The depth of the services allows staff at Aquacare to accept a wide range of patients, Nuttle said.
She recalled one favorite patient who had suffered several broken bones in a motorcycle accident. Thanks to the availability of the pool for therapy in which his body weight was supported — a person submerged up to his neck in water feels a loss of 90 percent of their body weight — he was able to start therapy there and follow through all the way to his complete recovery.
On Sunday, March 26, at 9 p.m., the doors will close for the last time at G&E Supermarket on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.
On Thursday, March 30, at 7 a.m. the doors will open for customers one mile to the south, at the new Hocker’s Supermarket in the Salt Pond Plaza.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Gerald “Gerry” Hocker Jr., whose father, Gerald Hocker Sr., took over the Cedar Neck Road store from his Uncle Jake in 1971.
Even though Jake Hocker had the store for 18 years — less time than the 46 years Gerald Hocker Sr. has been at the helm — some longtime customers still call the store “Jake’s.”
As Gerry and Gerald Hocker stood in the new store this week, contractors swarmed like bees, and the buzzing of drills punctuated the air. Four brand new self-checkout stands at the front of the store were swathed in plastic, to protect them from sawdust.
Kylee Rickards’ eyes light up as she describes the process of making the impossibly delicate layers of pastry that make up her croissants.
“You just keep folding them over and over on each other,” said the Culinary Institute of America graduate, who recently opened the Morning Buns Bake Shop in Ocean View, alongside her mother, Lynn Rickards. Her voice actually takes on a quiet reverence when she talks about the eight-hour process by which she transforms layers of pastry dough into buttery perfection.
“Croissants are my babies,” said Kylee, who went off to the CIA in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., after graduating from Sussex Technical High School.
The pair opened Morning Buns on Jan. 23, in a 1920s-era cottage on Atlantic Avenue (Route 26). While it wasn’t the location they had initially sought, the little house has turned out to be a perfect fit for the bakery. Its bright yellow exterior leads to an equally sunny coral and butter yellow interior, with pale green accents here and there.
On a recent morning, sun streamed through the bakery windows, glinting off the bakery case and its jewel-like contents. The sunlight gave a sugary sheen to croissants and danishes, cookies and scones. The aromas of cinnamon and coffee fill the air.
Kylee, whose studies at CIA concentrated on baking and pastries, said she arrives at the bakery each morning by around 4:30 a.m. to start on the day’s offerings. It’s a labor of love for her, and after a few years in New York and Washington, D.C., working in the quality-control side of the bakery business, she welcomed the chance to get her hands back into the butter and flour.
The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce has couples-to-be covered this weekend, as the Chamber will host the 22nd Annual Central Sussex Bridal Show this Sunday, March 12, from noon to 3 p.m. at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club.
“Every year, we see more vendors, new vendors who have never been in,” said Amy Simmons, the Chamber’s executive director.
After spending 16 years away from Sussex County, working in corporate law, Lewes native Jay Moffitt Esq. has returned, joining the Law Office of Susan Pittard Weidman.
Moffit graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 1992 and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Delaware in 1997. Upon graduation, he matriculated to Duke University School of Law, from which he graduated in 2001.
“When I graduated from the University of Delaware, I thought it sounded like an interesting field,” he said. “It’s academically challenging, in a way, to be a lawyer.”
During law school, Moffitt clerked at Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP in Delaware, as well at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP in New York. Upon graduation, he went to work for Simpson Thatcher, focusing on corporate transactional work and corporate litigation.
“I kept in touch with some of the partners I met at Morris, Nichols after that summer. When I decided I wanted to come back to Delaware, I reached out to them, was interviewed, and I got the job,” said Moffitt, who worked in Wilmington from 2005 to January 2017.
During his time at Morris, Nichols, Moffitt focused on corporate and commercial litigation, and he was made partner in 2011.
Local entrepreneur adds anteaters to swag bags for glitzy event
What do anteaters and actresses have in common? The answer involves handbags, swag, a local woman’s childhood love of a certain insect-eating mammal, and a big night in Hollywood.
Ten actresses, in particular — the ones who will be vying for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress statuettes at Sunday’s Academy Awards in Hollywood — will receive handbags imprinted with an anteater pattern.
The bags, produced by Bethany Beach resident Julie Kypreos’ company, Jules K., are part of “Everyone Wins” promotional “swag bags” provided to Oscar nominees by the promotional company Distinctive Assets.
Through the Distinctive Assets promotion, packages of “swag” are delivered to the homes of nominees for Best Actress, Best Actor, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor, as well as Best Director nominees and host Jimmy Kimmel.
Kypreos, whose handbags are sold online, said she came up with the idea of submitting her handbags for consideration while researching ways to get the word out about her unique handbags.
“I’m a start-up,” she said, adding that she recognizes that her handbags are so unique that they require some creative marketing. “No one is probably going to do a Google search for ‘anteater handbags,’” she said with a bit of a chuckle.
The swag bags include gifts for the nominees that range from a tube of ChapStick to a three-day stay at an 18-bedroom beachfront mansion in northern California, valued at $40,000. Kypreos’ handbags range in price from $370 to $395.
While all of the nominees for Best Director are men and, obviously, the 10 Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominees are men, they — as well as Kimmel — will also receive Jules K. bags. Kypreos said she tried to take the men’s significant others into consideration when choosing which bag to contribute for them, when applicable.
Quilting may be an old art, but Catherine’s Quilting uses technology to transform the basic craft into a finished heirloom piece. Catherine and Tim Peterson just recently opened their quilt shop on Church Street in downtown Selbyville.
Quilting can be a very personal craft, whether it’s a long-term labor of love by a group of friends, or maybe one woman, perhaps given for a wedding or baby gift. Whether hand-stitched in centuries past, or by a machine today, each scrap is carefully pieced together for a grander masterpiece.
Catherine’s Quilting helps with the final steps, attaching the thick batting, which transforms a decorative sheet into a cozy blanket for the home.
A couple from Pennsylvania started 2017 with a $121.6 million prize after matching all five white balls plus the red Powerball in the Dec. 17 lottery drawing. The man and woman, who wished to remain anonymous, purchased the winning ticket at Selbyville Goose Creek, a subsidiary of Cato Gas & Goose Creek Food Stores, located at 38452 DuPont Boulevard in Selbyville.
At the entrance to a greenhouse at Bearhole Farms near Roxana sits a blue tank about the size of a small hot tub. Orange-finned flashes flit around the bottom and a pump emits a constant thrum.
“That’s the engine,” says Bear Hole proprietor Cindy Stevens. The heart of the engine, which produces a perpetual harvest of 3,000 lettuce plants inside the 1,700-square-foot greenhouse, is fish. About 350 koi, common goldfish and channel catfish, to be precise.
In addition to swimming around the tank, the fish eat... and then when that food turns to fish waste, it is released into a system of channels that run under the lettuce plants, watering and feeding the plants. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.
As soon as the New Year, part of Bethany Beach will have a new look, with Pie restaurant owners Dan Lewis and Robin Rankin and Artful Bean owners Rose O’Hanlan and Kim Warner reaching an agreement last week that would allow Pie to expand, while the Artful Bean looks for a new home.
There was a look of pride on the face of Mike Cummings as he sat in his conference room earlier this week.
The driving force and CEO of Miken Builders in Millville was enjoying the fact that his company was celebrating 30 years of doing business, and that their spinoff, BetterLiving of Delmarva, was in its eighth year of constructing sunrooms, porch enclosures and awnings.
He was proud of the fact that his average employee has worked with Miken for more than 10 years, that he has worked with Contractors for a Cause for nearly 20 years and was actively involved in the construction of Justin’s Beach House — the respite home in Bethany Beach for families affected by cancer. And he was most certainly proud of the two young men who shared the conference-room table with him.
Patrick is the sales manager at BetterLiving, and Sean is a project manager for Miken. They are both well-versed in the ways of Miken and know that each project they take on must live up to the high standards long-attributed to the company.
The Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference was held last week, with the mission of providing “insight and identify opportunities in Sussex County to promote economics, partnership and collaboration.”
Micheal Meoli, owner/operator of The Meoli Companies, was the conference’s keynote speaker, and discussed what it takes to be successful in business.
It started, as do many things in small towns, with a conversation at the post office. Then there came a letter from the CIA.
And with that, 40 years ago, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce was born.
So says the organization’s first president, Clayton Ringler. Now 87 years old and living in Hayesville, NC, Ringler fondly recalled the chamber’s early days in a phone conversation last week.
The post office conversations, Ringler said, led to meetings of the first of the chamber’s organizers at Murray’s Topside Restaurant in Ocean View. Soon, the local newspaper, the Delmarva News, picked up on the chamber’s formation and published an article about it.
That’s where that letter comes into play. It was actually from Odette May, who at the time worked for the Central Intelligence Agency but was looking to retire in Bethany Beach. May, it seems, had seen the newspaper article and was writing to tell Ringler she wanted to get involved in the chamber.